Textile industry in Brno: A case study of cultural heritage and the memory of an industrial center (Kulturní dědictví a paměť industriálního centra (případ textilního Brna))
Authors: Aleš Vyskočil
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This paper discusses industrial heritage, i.e. the society‘s relationship with the remnants of defunct industrial infrastructure. We demonstrate the issues involved on the example of Brno, one of the key economic centers of the Czech lands. Brno owes this status to its early industrialization, especially the textile industry which dominated its economic landscape from the late 1700s. Early 1990s saw the total collapse of the industry which resulted, inter alia, in the city‘s landscape being dotted by abandoned, defunct and derelict industrial buildings and building complexes. Those are now viewed as impediments to city‘s development and the city is looking for new ways to utilize them. These effort have been
somewhat successful, for example in revitalizing a number of brownfields, but a large-scale solutions is still a desideratum. As a result, a number of building with great historical and cultural value have been torn down, including the industrial site of Vlněna, one of the icons of the textile industry in Brno, which was demolished in 2016. A unique opportunity to preserve, transform and revitalize this unique complex of buildings with immense historical value was wasted and thus a significant part of the industrial identity of Brno was irrevocably lost.